Brace yourselves. It’s been awhile since I wrote a highly opinionated piece, but I’m feeling the need to vent today. No need to read on if you’re the type that’s easily offended, but I don’t mind if you feel the need to comment and voice your opinion regarding my blog–my feelings aren’t easily hurt.
Before I launch into this great spiel, I should probably give you a little background as to what brought this on. I’ve got a personal firearm that I keep for self-defense (truth be told, I have a few firearms, but they’re more for the sport of shooting). It was given to me as a gift by my father for this purpose, and I’ve been really happy with it except for one thing: it’s too large to conceal. It’s not a major issue, and at first I was more concerned with accuracy and performance, so the inability to conceal the weapon wasn’t a big deal, but since I’m traveling so much with my son, I am more concerned with the need to carry it on my person. So, I started looking at smaller weapons and found one that I was considering. I posted a Facebook thread to see if anyone had any experience with this particular pistol since I had never shot it myself. One of my friends posted a remark that all the gun talk was rather scary, and another replied that it was no more scary than a criminal walking in and opening fire on defenseless civilians.
That brings us up to speed. So, what, you ask, is my opinion on personally-owned firearms? Let’s just say I’ve been a supporter of the NRA since before I was old enough to drive a car. Right about now, I know some of you are cringing. You’re thinking, “guns kill people. We should get rid of all personal firearms.” And, in a perfect world, that would be ideal. But folks, we don’t live in utopia. There are people out there that would kill you without blinking for the $20 in your wallet. And it’s for those people that I carry a firearm.
I am not a violent person. I avoid confrontation whenever possible, and I’d rather talk it out than come to blows. But, as LTC (ret) Dave Grossman so eloquently defined it, I am a sheepdog. I am a fierce protector of my family and the defenseless. And woe be the one who aims to harm one of my loved ones or the defenseless. Because at that moment, I am no longer a dainty southern belle. At that moment, I am larger than life and stand ready to do harm in defense of others.
Folks, today’s generation is a piteous one. Children are raised without being held accountable. You failed a test? Oh, it’s not your fault; it’s the teacher who didn’t fully explain the material to you. You stole something from a store? It’s not your fault; they should have given it to you because you can’t afford it, and you really wanted it. You beat up a classmate? Oh, that’s okay; they shouldn’t have teased you. You shot and killed someone? Well, we should outlaw firearms, because if you hadn’t had that gun, you wouldn’t have shot someone. ARE YOU SERIOUS????!!! Your child failed that test because he/she was too darn lazy to study!! And your child stole something because he/she wasn’t taught that stealing is wrong; that if you want something, you should save for it, but you should realize you can’t always have everything you want. Your child beat up a classmate because he/she wasn’t taught that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” And your child shot someone because he/she was never taught GUNS DON’T KILL PEOPLE; PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE. That gun has no ability to pull its own trigger. Oh sure, it makes killing someone a little easier than pulling a knife and stabbing them, but if you intend to kill someone, it’s not the gun’s fault–IT’S YOURS. Oh, and that hurts, doesn’t it? We don’t want to be responsible for our actions. We don’t like facing consequences. But, listen to me, and listen good. One day, you WILL face consequences. And there will be no lawyer to represent you–to get you out of trouble. There will be only God. And you will answer to Him for your actions.
This is what I was taught. I have grown up with firearms in our house. Not in a locked gun safe. No, they were placed in locations convenient for use should some criminal come knocking at our door. My dad taught my sister and me that guns can be dangerous, and that we should never touch a weapon without a grownup present. (We never touched one of Dad’s guns without his permission.) And more importantly, that you should never point at something you don’t intend to shoot. We went hunting with Dad. And when he killed a deer, we helped dress it. And then we ate it. My sister and I both carry firearms for personal safety today. And we have never shot anyone. We have never robbed anyone. We have never beat up anyone. We have never intentionally stolen anything (I accidentally stole a pair of earrings once when I was a child, and I have felt guilty about it ever since–I never wore those earrings). We have failed a test. And we faced the consequences for it. So how did my sister and I manage to grow up in a house full of firearms without turning into criminals? One simple reason: accountability for our actions. Dad and Mom held us accountable for what we did (good or bad). If we did good, we were praised. If we did bad, we knew there was a spanking coming (no, we were not abused). And more importantly, we were taught that God would hold us accountable for every single thing we did someday.
So, yes, I carry a firearm. And I hope I never need to use it. But, if that day ever comes, I will be prepared. I will protect my family, friends, loved ones, and even those who hate me for having that weapon. I will go to war to fight those who would rob us of our freedom. And I will pray for those who would fight against me.
**If you haven’t read On Killing by LTC (ret) Dave Grossman, I suggest you at least look into it. His wolf/sheep/sheepdog analogy is by far the best explanation of the enemy/civilian/soldier relationship I have ever come across.